A Night Full of Grace

Sometimes the glimpses God gives of Himself are cloaked in the ordinary, the mundane: a song coming on at just the right time, a child’s hand holding yours. Sometimes the glimpses are viewed from the lens of nature: a sunset, a newborn foal, a sparkling diamond sky.

Yet other times the glimpses are so obvious that you can do nothing but sit back in awe and simply watch His glory and grace take center stage.

Last night was one of those nights. Our church family came together to witness 25 men be ordained and installed as deacons and elders. My husband was one of them. It was a moving and powerful night. A night of answered prayer.

To say it was beautiful would be a severe understatement.


The men are not perfect, and I’m sure most feel unqualified and unprepared, but God has called and they have obeyed. Twenty-five ordinary men seeking to live in obedience to an extraordinary God. Twenty-five men from different backgrounds, bringing different talents and abilities, working together for the good of the church body. Twenty-five men willing to serve, sacrifice and surrender for the Bride of Christ.


In a world, in a time, and in a culture that screams “Me, Me, Me” these men stood before God and humbly proclaimed, “You, You, You.”

In world demanding its own rights no matter the cost, these men stood before God and gladly surrendered themselves to His service.

These men are not perfect, they are flawed sinners just like the rest of us, but they are willing. They are willing to put Jesus first. They are willing to serve instead of being served. They are willing to give of their time, their talents, and their resources to serve the Church.


There are many beautiful images God has tucked into our lives. Yet,  I think one of the most beautiful is when His children pray for and with each other.

Our pastor asked all active pastors, elders and deacons to come forward and lay hands on the new deacons. This is something that goes all the way back to New Testament times. Something about that – knowing you are watching something so sacred – is so very moving.

My eyes welled with tears as the pastor then asked those of us in the audience to reach our hands forward and symbolically lay our hands on them as well.


The tears then fell with abandon as I glanced up to see this:



My kids with arms outstretched praying for their daddy and the other men being ordained. My children bearing witness to the glorious grace being poured out in front of us. The two treasures entrusted to us being a part of this miraculous night.

Last night was not simply a glimpse of God’s glory – it was God’s glory on display. It was an outpouring of His majesty, His grace, and His Holy Presence. It was a beautiful, moving night. And one that I never want to forget.

I am so proud of my husband and all of those men, but most of all I am so honored to have been a part of such a sacred and holy night. A night full of God’s glory and grace.



Much love,


When You Feel Like Your Ministry Just Doesn’t Measure Up

I’ve been spending a lot of time recently thinking about my blog’s purpose and goal.

In an online world full of noise, with many different voices speaking out on a variety of topics, I start to wonder if another voice is really needed. Wondering inevitably leads me to compare myself to other far more experienced and successful bloggers. Comparing then leads me to the realization that I am surely lacking in the experienced and successful blogger category.

The door is then wide open for the accuser to begin taunting: Your little blog doesn’t matter. Your words don’t matter. Your voice doesn’t matter. You aren’t bold enough. You aren’t witty enough. You aren’t engaging enough. You aren’t……enough.

Super uplifting right?

I wish I could say this was a one time low-point. A struggle I used to have but have overcome. But I would be lying. This is a constant battle. A weak point the enemy expertly exploits over and over again.

However, something is beginning to change in this battle. Something is different recently. The taunts are still there. The whispers to judge my posts by numbers, likes and shares are still there. But they are losing their power. The noise of the taunts is being diminished by the caress of the Truth.

The Truth that says:
It is not your words that matter, it is My Word that matters.
It is not your voice that matters, it is My Voice that matters.
You are not enough, but I AM enough and I AM in you.

I truly believe that God has called me to write. And I truly believe that He has called me to write about the many ways He reveals Himself to me—how He shows His extraordinary in the midst of my ordinary. And so numbers, stats, and other earthly measurements should not matter.

Walking in obedience to the Lord means not measuring ourselves against others—only by His calling. 

Doing what God calls us to do.
Serving Him with a willing and eager heart.
Focusing on Him.
llowing Him to use us however He sees fit.

Being obedient to God’s calling means surrendering earthly measures of success to Him.

Yesterday I took my kids to a special Billy Graham exhibit at the NC Museum of History. It was moving and powerful. And somewhat intimidating as we stood in front of a wall that was illuminated with pinpoint lights.


Each light represented 2,000 decisions made for Christ as a result of one of Billy’s crusades. All together the lights represented more than 3 million decisions!


As I took in the breath and depth of his ministry I started to feel so small—so unimportant. (Isn’t it interesting how the accuser can accuse even in the middle of a deeply spiritual moment!)

My heart whispered, “God, I’ll never have this kind of impact. I’ll never be able to do anything like this for You.” My shoulders slumped. “Does my teeny tiny little ministry even matter?”

Yet, before the accuser could get another word in, the voice of Truth called out, “Look up.”

My head raised on its accord. And what I saw brought tears to my eyes.


My two babies were standing in front of the wall of lights. Two souls standing in the Light. Two lives changed by the light of the Gospel. Two souls entrusted into mine and my husband’s care. Two children given to us to instruct in the way of God’s Word. Two little ones we had the joy and privilege to escort to the foot of the cross where they surrendered their lives to Him. Two souls who will live eternally with Jesus.

It was then God allowed me to SEE a very important truth:

Every single soul matters. Every. Single. One. Whether 3 million or just 1 person. Every heart won. Every soul saved. Every life changed by the blood of Jesus matters.

No ministry is too small for Him to use. No act of obedience is too mundane if done by a willing eager heart.

The breath and scope of my ministry is not my concern because

  1. it is not my ministry
  2. it is not my blood that saves anyone
  3. it is not my glory that I’m seeking

How freeing is that?!?!

I do not have to worry or fret over numbers or stats because none of that really matters. I just have to walk in obedience, remain in His Word, bask in His Truth and then speak and write what He tells me to speak and write so that I can shine His light into this dark world.


Easy to write, but often hard to do!

But I’m up for the challenge because “He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

I pray that today we might all find freedom from measuring ourselves by earthly standards and with earthly measures by instead looking to the One who loves us and has called us to simply serve Him. The results are not our concern.

Results, like glory and honor, all belong to God.

Quote by Billy Graham when he was knighted in 2001

Much love,

Glorious Grace (Video)

As I sang along to a worship song in church this past Sunday my heart fluttered with the realization that the song is basically my heart’s desire for this blog. The song meant so much to me that I want to share it here.

The song is “This Glorious Grace” by Austin Stone Worship. I’ve attached a video below.

As the world grows ever darker and further away from God, I find myself longing to SEE the Light of Jesus like never before. Longing to see His glorious grace. Longing to feel the secure embrace of His Love. Longing to hear the gentle whisper of His voice.

Longing….ever longing until at last I stand (or more likely fall on my face) before Him.

I think I will make this song my alarm in the morning as a reminder that I need to turn to Him before I even get out of bed!

Glorious Grace
Austin Stone Worship
(Aaron Ivey, Brett Land, Kyle Lent)

God I need You, I need You, I need You
Every breath, every pulse of my heart
Christ have mercy, have mercy, let mercy abound
I need You, I need You now

God pour out Your grace, glorious grace
That I would be held by Your perfect embrace
I am undeserving, You are high and worthy
All of my praise for this glorious grace

God I’m longing, I’m longing to see You
In Your presence all darkness will fade
Shine Your glory, Your glory, let glory surround
I’m longing to see You now

God Your grace, like rising seas
Has swallowed death and sin in me
God Your grace like rising seas
Has swallowed death and sin in me
Glory to my God who saves
Jesus Christ, my glorious grace
Glory to my God who saves
Jesus Christ, my glorious grace

God I worship, I worship, I worship You
For Your glory, my all in all You are worthy, You’re worthy, You’re worthy
I worship, I worship You
God I need You, I need You now



Much love,


When Getting Up Is Just Too Hard

I woke up this morning with no interest in getting out of bed. Not because I was sick or because I had stayed up too late. Not because my sheets were too inviting or the sky too gray. No, the reason I could not get out of bed was because it just felt too hard.

I had gone to bed with a heavy heart, the news of the last several days just too much to take in. The state of the world too chaotic and unsettled to consider facing again. Evil and hate swirling together to form what felt like an impenetrable darkness which would swallow me if I got out of bed.

I laid in bed for an hour praying, reviewing what I know to be true, and reciting Bible verses. “God, I just can’t today. I just can’t. It’s too hard. Too dark. Too scary. Too sad. Let’s just stay here.”

My heart cried out in such a way that I pictured a scene King David described in Psalm 6, “My soul is greatly dismayed…..I am weary from my sighing. Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with tears…”

While my bed wasn’t swimming or my couch soaked in tears, my soul was weary – and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed! I truly considered unplugging every device, turning off every ringer, sending the kids to a friend’s and just remaining in my cocoon of comfort.

It seemed a reasonable response to an unreasonable world.

Yet, as I contemplated the logistics to make such a reality happen, a tune started to form in my head. It’s a tune that was both familiar and new. A tune so simple and yet so deeply profound. A tune I had only heard the day before, sung by my daughter, whispered by the Holy Spirit. A tune that goes with lyrics to a song I am writing for a preschool Bible study – a song to help teach kids about the armor of God.

The first line is, “I want to stand firm and so I will learn to put on the armor of God.” As the tune to that simple little song wafted through my weary heart, I felt God reminding me that I cannot stand firm while lying in my comfy cocoon. And I cannot put on His armor from a prone position.

God gave me rest this morning. He brought verses to my mind and allowed me to wallow for a moment, but then He gave me my marching orders.

This world is a hard place to live. Evil is spreading its tentacles into every nook and cranny. Nowhere feels safe. But that’s wrong. Because there is a safe place. The safest of all places.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

So I got out of bed, not because I really wanted to, but because God had somewhere better for me to go. I stood up and asked Him to cover me with His armor and with His very Name.

I realized that I don’t need to lay in my comfy cocoon because I can stand in His strong tower.

The enemy wants nothing more than to kill, disarm, silence and destroy. God’s children cannot lay down in defeat. After all we are not the ones who have already been defeated – Satan is!

He is like a snake whose head has been cut off but is still able to bite. He will be defeated for good one day. But in the meantime we must stand up, put on God’s armor, stand firm in His Name, and live for Him.

Are you weary today? Run to Him. Cry out to Him. Unplug from the world for a few minutes and plug into His Word.

He loves you. He’s waiting for you. He hears you. He sees you. Even from under the
covers! 😉

Much love,

take time to unplug from the world (1)


How to Shine Light into Darkness

Sometimes when you need words the most, they seem to fail you. I have tried to put into words the feelings swirling through my mind today in light of the mass shooting in Orlando. Horror, despair, anger, helplessness, sadness, frustration, fear, concern, sympathy. They all swirl around my heart leaving me unable to form adequate sentences…not that my sentences could really help at the moment.

But then a few minutes ago my almost nine year old daughter crawled up on my lap and asked me a question:

Mama, light is stronger than darkness right?

Right baby. Absolutely.

Then God’s people need to ask Him to help us shine His light into all the darkness right now. There’s probably a lot of people who just see darkness today. Don’t you think?

I do sweet girl. It seems very dark today.

But God’s light is stronger. We just sang about that at church today. So how can we help shine God’s strong light right now?

[We brainstormed together for awhile and here are the ideas we came up with]

We can pray for those who are hurting.
We can show love to others, to everyone.
We can speak kind words.
We can do kind things for others, even those who are different from us.
We can tell God that we want to be His light-shiners.
We can ask God to shine His love through us in some way today.

That’s a really good list mama. Let’s do all of these today ok?

OK, my sweet girl. Let’s go shine some light today.

Sometimes a child can form much better sentences than an adult!

Our family is praying for all of those affected by the horrific tragedy in Orlando, and for all those who are working to be the light bearers in that area even now. May the God of all comfort and light surround those who are hurting and broken tonight, and fill them with His Presence and Love.



Why SEE?

I recently updated my “About This Blog” page and wanted to share that here. I am currently going through the “Armor of God” Bible study by Priscilla Shirer and was struck by a truth she highlighted on the very first day:

“To be confident and victorious, you’ve got to be able to see it.” (Priscilla Shirer #ArmorofGodStudy)

The it she refers to is the power and strength available to us through Jesus. We can’t live victoriously confident lives unless we are able to SEE Jesus for who He truly is. So with that powerful truth in mind, I set out to update and clarify the purpose of this blog:

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called  you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe…” Ephesians 1:18-19

I want to see Jesus.

I long to have my eyes opened to see things as they truly are, not through a  dim mirror or with a veiled face, but unobstructed and clear.  I desire to see Him in all of His power and glory, causing all else to dim in comparison. We have an enemy who seeks to blind us to the truth of God’s power and strength. Yet, we have a very real God who has already given us everything we need in order to walk confidently in the light of His Truth (Ephesians 1:17-19).

The first step in triumphing over our enemy is to SEE what we already have in Jesus, and to SEE God as He truly is.

The purpose of this blog is to challenge myself, my children and others to SEE God more. To ask God to open our eyes to be able to SEE Him in the big moments and the small.  To seek His face in our every day lives.  To have our eyes opened to the Presence of God in this life, while anxiously anticipating seeing Him in the life to come.

We see so much evil all around us.  We see darkness and hatred.  We see violence and brokenness. Lord, let us SEE You.  Let us SEE Your righteousness and Your goodness.  Let us SEE Your power and Your might. Let us SEE Your love and forgiveness.  Let us SEE a glimpse of Your glory.

And in SEEing may we experience Your true power which enables us to live life victoriously.


Much love,

An Overdue Thank You

I have started and stopped this post many times over the past three weeks. Unsure of the “right” time to post. Uncertain of even what to say and how to say it.

And what is “it” that I don’t know when or how to say?

It is, thank You.

After going through the terrifying ordeal with my dad (see Daddy’s Girl), I find myself in uncharted waters of gratitude. Thoughts swim through my head, muddying the already murky waters—is he well enough now to tell people he’s ok? Is it too soon to thank God for saving my dad (ie is he really out of the woods? what if something happens during his recovery?).

Major illness, massive surgeries and other “big” life moments are tricky in that you don’t really know when it is “over,” or when you can come up for air. Ongoing treatments, doctor visits, hospital stays, home health care, fatigue, and all the unknowns create a web of confusion and uncertainty. There is no defined end-of-the-trial moment. No one gives you a cake that says, “Congratulations! It’s all over now!”

The intensity fades some, but the fear is still there. Always peaking from behind the curtain of calm. The what-ifs can drive you mad—stealing the joy of momentary peace.

Throughout my dad’s heath scare, I have seen God move and sustain in ways I never have before. From the day that I didn’t think I could face what was to come (see Peace), to the terror of seeing him hooked up to countless machines and looking so out of it (see Where We Are Now), God has held me and anchored me to Him over and over again.

God has shown me what it means to be my Strength and my Provider.

As I sat on an airplane fearful of what I was going to see and experience, He whispered His ancient yet timely words, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

God proved over and over that His peace is stronger than my fear.

Two days after surgery as I stared at my dad’s unresponsive face, fearing the worst and uncertain of the future, I felt fear circling my heart and mind—taunting me, growing ever closer. I cried out, “God help!” and instantly the fear was put under His authority. Fear was forced to retreat. His protective peace surrounded me.

God displayed His glory through His people.

Sitting in a waiting room for 8 hours is taxing. Fearing what every update will bring is exhausting. Yet having precious friends surprise you with visits, texts, and prayers, can only be seen as gifts from a very good Father. When the burden would start to feel too great, a friend would email a prayer. When the walls were blurring together, God sent two precious long-time friends to visit. He was continually providing for us.

Dad is home and is recovering—slowly but surely. The first days home were brutal for my parents, but God was with them. His recovery is a work in progress, but God is with him. I long to be there, but God is with us.

So I will not wait another second to publicly and wholeheartedly say thank You to the One who continues to see us through each day. I will not give into the fear that keeps me guarding my gratefulness for what God has done.

There are no guarantees for any of us at any point. Life is fragile. Bad things happen. But I refuse to give fear any more power over my thankfulness. God has given us more time with my daddy and I am so very thankful for every single second.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I will cling to the hand of the One who does and who will be with me always.

Thank you Lord Jesus!

Psalm 105-1

Much love,

A letter to the hard-worker who wasn’t recognized

You’ve worked hard all year. You’ve overcome difficulties, sickness, and lack of motivation. You’ve cried tears of frustration, laughed belly-laughs of joy, and experienced every emotion in-between. You’ve grown both in knowledge and maturity, and it shows. Yet, right now it may not feel like anyone really noticed.

You watch as your peers—your friends—are called up to receive various awards. Maybe you even earned one yourself, but they’ve earned two or three. And truth be told, it stings a little.

“Could I have done more?”
“Did I not do enough?”
“Am I not enough?”

These whispered thoughts float around like dandelion seeds in your mind. You are happy for your friends, truly you are, but yet it leaves you wondering, “Why does no one notice me?”

Dear one, please know this:

You are noticed. You are cheered for. You are celebrated. And you are loved.

The One who sees all, who knows all, and who understands all, sees you.

The One who sees how hard you have tried, who sees the kindness you have shown, who sees the tears you have cried, stands before you smiling—nodding His head in acknowledgment of you.

The One who helped you through the late nights, the broken hearts, and endless insecurities, looks on you with love-filled radiant eyes.

He sees you and He rejoices over you.

He sees you and He loves you.

He sees you and beckons you toward His life-giving Presence.

Trophies are nice, awards are nice, but one day they will be put into a box—forgotten about. Yet, the lessons you have learned this year, the growth you have experienced, will become a building block for your entire life.

You have grown in ways that a certificate or a trophy cannot measure. You have changed in ways too big to be measured by mere grades.

You have walked along a road perfectly mapped out for you by your Creator, and you are better for it.

There will be times in this life that you will be noticed by people. Those times will feel good. But for the times that go unnoticed by your peers, your teachers, and those over you please know that they are seen by One far greater.

He sees, He knows, He loves.

And one day all the unseen trophies that He has been storing up for you will be delivered into your arms. And as odd as this may seem now—you will take one look at Him and lay each one of those trophies down at His feet. At that moment you will see clearly the truth that He has known all along:

He is the trophy and He is enough!

Much love to you,

He Sees

An Introvert’s Battle Plan

With all the craziness going on in the world right now, it amazes me that some of the fiercest battles I still fight take place in my own head. Maybe it’s an introvert thing. Maybe it’s a mom thing. Or maybe it’s just a human thing?

People often act surprised when I mention being plagued with insecurity. I guess I have learned to mask it well, or more likely people misconstrue my insecurities as confidence.

I remember well the time I gave an acquaintance a ride home from college for the weekend. Thirty minutes into the car ride she turned to me and said, “I was so wrong about you. I always thought you were so stuck up, but you’re actually really nice.”

“Um…..thank you?????”

Sadly, that was not the first, nor would it be the last time I would hear similar statements. My quietness, my reserved nature, my lack of comfort in social situations often come across as me being aloof, uninterested, or conceited. All of which become more fodder for my already overactive self-censure and running mental commentary. I’ll give you a sneak peak into my internal dialogue on any given day:

They are all staring at you. You so don’t belong here. What is wrong with you that it is so hard to make small talk! Just talk to her. Ok, stop talking no one cares. How can I get out of here? When can I leave? Please notice me. Oh please don’t notice me! 

I so wish I had been born with an internal mute button!

With school award season upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about my battle with internal commentary. I hate that I dread this time of year – the trophies, awards, and accolades. I find that, for me at least, the comparison trap becomes hard to avoid. And once I fall into that trap, the darts meet their mark very easily. 

My head understands that not everyone can get a trophy. My mind grasps that not everything good we do in life gets honorable mention. But none of this stops the internal war from raging, “Your not doing enough for your kids, not expecting enough, not trying enough, not supporting enough…not enough…never enough.”

It gets brutal in my head sometimes. An epic battle. Lies slashing left and right, trying to silence the truth.

This post is hard. I have tried to delete this repeatedly.…fearing how it is going to come across. Fearing what others are going to think. Fearing seeing the truth in black an white for all to see.

But here’s why I refuse to hit delete: I am determined to drag the lies out into the light. Not daylight. Not limelight. But God light.

I want to expose the dark lies to the light of God’s truth. Not just the lies satan whispers about my kids or my parenting. But all of the lies. Every. Single. One.

I do not want to be at the mercy of these lies one second longer. They are LIES. Any voice of condemnation and accusation is a lie from the evil one. God does not condemn or accuse. He will confront and He will convict, but He will not belittle or attack.

Satan will shout his condemning lies: Look at all those other kids getting recognized. You’re not doing a good enough job for your kids.

But God will whisper His life-giving truth: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23

Satan will stir up anxiety and despair: You’re messing up their futures.

God will gentle and quiet with His love: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

Satan will create chaos and confusion: Give into jealousy. Give into resentment. Listen to your fear.

God will speak and bring peace: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

 So I will go into battle, but not alone and not unequipped. I will stand behind the Author of truth and hold fast to the armor and weapons He has given me as I engage in an epic battle for truth and peace.
And whether the fiery arrows come from within or without, I will ask Him to shield me—mind, body, spirit, and even thoughts—with His truth.
I will prepare for the assault, and many others to come, by memorizing His Word and by writing down a list of truths I can say to combat the lies that are coming. I will cheer for those who are recognized with a special award. I will rejoice in the children God gave me. I will rest in the fact that He is enough. And I will pray that God will continue to work on my heart, and my thoughts.

After all, He is better than any trophy. He is better than any recognition. He is better than any award or accolade. He is everything and He is enough.

Now, I just need to put that on constant loop in my head! 😉

Proverbs 30-5 (1)

Much love,